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St. George’s Day

Friday, March 17

Last week was a bye week for the team and the blog and I couldn’t be more excited to get back to both this week. In my admittedly brief experience with bye weeks, the first week is a good chance to get some rest and enjoy the time off. The second week is always long. As the anticipation builds overall, everyone is just excited to get back on the floor.

One thing that made the week a little easier was the effort we put in against Saskatchewan last game. We had 14 guys record a point, nine guys record two or more points and Will Malcom stayed hot with five goals.

One guy who deserves another mention in this blog is Josh Medeiros, who scored two more goals last weekend and now has 13 goals and 7 assists in 12 games. Meddy is now shooting above 50% on the year which is just crazy. I think something for viewers to notice going forward is the degree of difficulty on his shots. He mixes underhand and twister releases, which make his shots hard to track and they always go to the corners.

We spent the bye weekend exploring all around Fort Worth and DFW, including a TCU baseball game, the Stockyards, Clearfork neighborhood, the Lower Greenville St. Patrick’s festivities and Trinity Park. It was great to get out in this community and see all the different stuff it has to offer and to continue making this place feel like home.

The other notable aspect of the bye weekend was that is our last of the year. We have an odd schedule this year, as we have the last weekend of the season off. With seven weeks remaining on the NLL schedule that means we have six weekends in a row to finish the season. We are in the middle of a playoff push, so the hope is that we will still have lacrosse to play in May. For now, all we can focus on is taking the next six contests one week at a time.

Obviously, this week brings St. Patrick’s Day and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable celebration. For members of my alma mater Cornell lacrosse community though, this week will always have different meaning.

On St. Patrick’s Day in 2004, Cornell lacrosse player George Boiardi was struck in the chest with a ball during a game against Dartmouth and passed away on the field. This tragedy changed the course of the Cornell program forever and George’s life and legacy has impacted every Cornell player since then. His stall in the Cornell locker room has remained essentially untouched and will never be occupied by another player and his number 21 has become a symbol of the Cornell program.

When we learned about George, we referred to him as the “Greatest Teammate Who Ever Lived,” and the standard of our program was always to give a “Boiardi-like effort.” George was a team-captain and for years held the record for the fastest 40-yard dash in school history. He also was the president of his fraternity and was planning on devoting his post-college career to the Teach for America program. Motivational author Jon Gordon, also a Cornell lacrosse alum, wrote a book about George’s story, entitled “The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate.” I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy of the book and learn about George’s incredible story.

Unfortunately, three years ago this week, we lost another member of the Cornell community when our longtime Athletic Therapist Jim Case passed away suddenly. Jim was one of the best people you ever met and he clearly took his role more seriously than his title suggested. He was, for a group of 50 young men, a guardian and caretaker. His phone was always on, and taking care of the group was something he took seriously. Jimmy was the best and I miss him.

One of the coolest parts of George’s story was the decision made by the team after the tragedy. The team was not sure whether to continue play out the rest of the year and they took some time to decide. The ultimate decision was to return to play, but not to try and “win for George.” If they lost a game, it would be too crushing to feel like they had let George down.

Instead, they chose to play with an effort that George would be proud of. Nobody played as hard as George did, but if the team could play with a Boiardi-like effort, they would be content. That team returned to play and went to the final eight in the NCAA playoffs. Years later, Cornell teams talk daily about winning the hustle plays (The Boiardi Stats) and living up to the standard – not of winning, but of effort.

Last year, Head Coach Tracey Kelusky had the PCLC team read the Hard Hat book. We even adopted the hard hat symbol from the book and from Cornell, and the hat is given to a player after each win who put together a particularly workmanlike effort. Or, in other words, a Boiardi-like effort.

So this week, I am feeling extra grateful for this wonderful game which has given me almost everything good I have in life. I am thankful for my blood family, my Cornell family and all the others who have helped me get to this place. And I am excited to get back with my PCLC family this week.

Cornell’s motto is WD > WS. It stands for Well Done is greater than Well Said. So that’s enough words for this week, let’s get back on the floor and play this incredible game.

Till next week,

Donny

 

Panther City Lacrosse Club